Young-at-Heart Ideas for All-Grown-Up Birthday Parties
Who says the kids should have all the fun? When you take a little time to decide on a clear-cut party activity – then decorate and cater accordingly – the fun is magnified exponentially. But don’t mistake creating a theme and sticking to it with getting complicated. When you keep to a unified vision for celebrating, your efforts go a lot further toward feeling festive because guests feel transported – that’s the beauty of a theme parties.
So take it from us: if you have grown-up responsibilities (i.e. limited time to plan, a tiny budget and busy friends), choose ONE FUN THING and DO IT UP. That’s all it takes to make that tiny little blip on your social calendar into the one gathering everyone loved anticipating – and didn’t want to end.
Throw a ‘Stache-Worthy Celebration Sometimes a prop or two is just what you need to shake things up. Instruct guests to come dressed as their favorite mustachioed celebrity, world leader or cartoon character. For those who didn’t have time to groom in advance, have stick-on ‘staches, makeup crayons and finger-staches on hand so there’s no hiding from the facial hair (except behind the facial hair, of course). Make sure you have a couple tubs of handlebar wax available for those guests particularly gifted in the hair-growth department. Play a rollicking game of Name that ‘Stache (simply print out close-ups of famous facial hair), serve mustache cookies, screen a Burt Reynolds film or two, and have a go at Pin the Mustache on Tom Selleck. Things are bound to get boisterous – there might even be a little ‘stache-swapping before the night is through.
Host una Fiesta Drawing on some of the many sources of inspiration from Mexico – vibrant colors, festive cocktails, savory snacks and striking decorations – a fiesta is a simple way to create a unified party theme where the mood, the music, the drinks and the décor all build on and reinforce one-another. It all goes back to that same philosophy of easy entertaining where it’s not about making things complex – it’s about making the most impact with the fewest components. Send out the Fiesta party invitation so guests can anticipate the theme of the party (and hopefully gift appropriately with top-shelf tequila). Decorate with papel picado (perforated tissue-paper banners), succulents and cactuses, and simple vases of bougainvillea. Serve Mexican sodas, set up a margarita bar, and have soft tacos pre-assembled for guests to grab. Spin some Latin music and call it a fiesta. Oh, and don’t forget the piñata – guests might get grouchy if they don’t get to swing at a papier-maché burro.
*Check out The Sweetest Occasion's Fiesta ideas
Bet On a Fun Birthday If you and your friends are card sharks – or even if you just like to bluff – go all in for a casino-night birthday party. Send out the Casino Party invitation with details about what game is on the table. Set up a card table, work out the house rules for your favorite game, and pick your poison (whiskey, naturally). Invite your friends to raise the bet, and let the night unfold. Add to the décor with a swath of green felt from the local fabric store for your tabletop, Vegas-style clay poker chips and plenty of decks of cards. Up the ante by asking guests to dress appropriately trampy.
Host a Celebrity Screening Birthday Party …where you’re the celebrity, of course. Send out the Movie Night invitation, including details about what movie you plan to show so guests can get in character if they choose to. Roll out the red carpet figuratively or literally by going to a local remnant store and finding a small piece of a ruby-colored rug. Dress the part in a ball-gown or tux, and ask guests to come wearing their favorite Hollywood styles. Screen your favorite movie and serve up the most fitting snacks for the movie pick. For example, a Bond film might call for martinis, salted nuts, plates of premium British sausages, and chocolate-strawberry fondue for dessert. You get the picture.
Happy Mixbooking! And…Happy Birthday!